Watson stands out in a crowd St. Paul's star eludes top defenses 1993 ALL-METRO BOYS LACROSSE TEAM

June 05, 1993|By Steven Kivinski | Steven Kivinski,Contributing Writer

Michael Watson could run, but the senior midfielder couldn't hide on the lacrosse field this spring.

As the top player on a St. Paul's team that occupied the No. 1 ranking for most of the season, Watson wasn't going to sneak up on any opposing defenses in the Maryland Scholastic Association A Conference. He was just too well-known.

And too good to be denied.

Watson, who led the A Conference with 40 goals and 34 assists, was selected The Baltimore Sun's 1993 All-Metro Boys Lacrosse Player of the Year.

"He's the best high school lacrosse player around," said Crusaders coach Mitch Whiteley. "He led the MSA in scoring, and drawing as much attention as he did, that's phenomenal.

"Every team has one good defenseman, and he would always draw that top guy and he still did a heck of a job."

Watson, who last month received the C. Markland Kelly Award that is given annually to the best lacrosse player in the MSA, left jaws hanging with his dazzling stickwork and no-look passes.

"He has great athletic ability," said Whiteley. "Sometimes he would make some phenomenal play and we [the coaches] would look at each other and say, 'Now, that's good coaching.' "

Watson finished his career third on St. Paul's all-time scoring list with 222 points. But the only thing missing from his storied career was a happy ending. The two-time defending conference champion Crusaders won 13 straight and stretched their winning streak to 34 games before Loyola handed them a 13-12 loss in the regular-season finale for both teams.

St. Paul's, which had won its division and clinched the top seed in the playoffs, hoped to take out its frustrations on St. Mary's in the conference semifinals, but the Crusaders were upended, 8-7, by a Saints team that went on to win its first conference championship.

"The only goal I had was the same one that we had as a team, and that was to get into the playoffs and then win the championship," said Watson, who will join former teammate Tim Whiteley next season at the University of Virginia. "It was pretty disappointing the way the season ended because we hadn't lost a game in two years until the last two games.

"When Loyola beat us, we had already clinched a playoff spot and the home-field advantage so that wasn't a big deal, but the St. Mary's game was frustrating because we beat them early in the season [10-5] and we thought we could handle them. St. Mary's did exactly what they had to do to beat us.

"It would have been a lot worse if I hadn't won a championship before, but looking back, not a lot of people have won two in a row."

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